UK. San Juan CBP seizes cocaine and heroin aboard cruise-ship

Friday, 29 October 2010


Upon arrival of the Serenade of the Seas cruise ship to the San Juan seaport yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 3.5 kilograms of cocaine and 6.48 kilograms of heroin in two unrelated incidents.

Early in the morning, CBP officers conducted a random inspection of ship cabins. During the search, a K-9 sweep alerted positive to the odor of narcotics.

CBP officers discovered three brick size packages between the beds which field tested positive to cocaine.

The two passengers, U.S. citizens, Melinda Ivette Quiñones-Cruz, 28, and Cristian Gabriel Oquendo-Lopez, 21, were arrested by CBP officers.

In a separate, unrelated incident, two passengers were referred to secondary inspection after providing inconsistent information during a CBP officer interview.

An inspection of the luggage exposed a large of amount of shoes that, when probed, yielded a brown powdery substance.

The CBP officers found, wrapped in duct tape inside the shoes, a substance which field tested positive to heroin.

CBP arrested two passengers, Diana Hortencia Latigua-Lorenzo, 32, a U.S. citizen, and her brother, Breidy Latigua-Lorenzo, 20, a citizen of the Dominican Republic.

The custody of the four suspects and the seized narcotics was transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.

The estimated street value of the heroin is $324,000 and the estimated value of the seized cocaine is $84,000.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 October 2010 )